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A yagyopavit which is also known as Janeo, is the sacred thread worn by the Hindus. This sacred thread has three strands. These three strands Symbolize three debts (Rin) i.e. Guru Rin (debt to one's teacher), Pitra Rin (debt to one's parents and ancestors), Dev Rin (debt to gods). These three strands also symbolize- Maa Parvati, Maa lakshmi and Maa Sarswati. These three strands also represent purity in thoughts, words and deeds.
The word yagyopavit is a combination of two words 'yagya' and 'upvit', which means the thing which is worn to perform yagya and without wearing it yagya is not performed.
What is yagyopavit Sanskaar or Upnayan Sanskaar ?
A yagyopavit sanskaar is one of the sixteen Sanskaarsof the Hindus. Yagyopavit sanskaar is the ceremony when the boy is given the holy thread (Janeo) to wear for the first time. Only after undergoing this sanskaar, the person is entitled to perform other sanskaars. Yagyopavit sanskaar is considered very important for making the boy very intelligent, powerful, talented and cultured.
When is yagyppavit sanskaar performed ?
For the Brahmin boy yagyopavit sanskaar should be performed when he attains the age of 8 years. For this sanskaar the age of the khsatriya boy should be 11 years and the age of the Vaishya boy should be 12 years.
If it is not possible to perform yagyopavit sanskaar at the age shown above, then this sanskaar can be performed when the Brahmin boy attains the age of 16 years, the Khsatriya boy attains the age of 16 years and the Vaishya boy attains the age of 24 years.